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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute announced approximately $4 million for five projects that align with RAPID’s research focus areas in chemical and commodity processing, natural gas upgrading, renewable bioproducts, intensified process fundamentals, modeling and simulation, and module manufacturing.

Manufacturing competitiveness is a top priority for the Trump Administration. RAPID is a part of Manufacturing USA®, a network of DOE-funded institutes that have a specialized technology focus to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing research and development (R&D) infrastructure.

“DOE is investing in new industrial technologies, materials, and processes to bolster American manufacturing,” said Alex Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “Breakthroughs in process intensification technology help advance energy productivity and efficiency in industries such as oil and gas, pulp and paper, and chemical manufacturing.”

The following projects are selected for negotiations:

  • Washington State University and GTI will develop a liquid-phase electrochemical reforming process for low-cost, distributed production of hydrogen from ethanol.
  • The University of Minnesota and RTI International will develop a reactive-absorption process for ammonia synthesis that improves safety, lowers energy intensity, and enables distributed manufacturing.
  • Cornell University, together with Electrochaea and other partners in the State of New York, will develop an integrated route for carbon-efficient conversion of dairy and food wastes to renewable, pipeline-quality biomethane
  • The University of Arizona, together with partners at Aquastill, Chemstations, DWP Energy Solutions, and W.L. Gore, will develop a solar-driven, intensified, membrane-distillation process to efficiently manage the concentrate waste stream from reverse-osmosis plants.
  • The University of Kansas, together with partners at DuPont Biomaterials and Hills Inc., will develop a furan-based polymer membrane for energy-efficient separation of hydrogen from mixed gas streams common to production of ammonia, oil and gas. 

Founded in 2016, in partnership with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), RAPID is the fourth institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. RAPID leverages approaches to modular chemical process intensification with the goal of improving productivity and efficiency, cutting operating costs, and reducing waste.